Just like my pre-draft rankings, I have separated the quarterbacks from other placements (page three). Simply put, they are a different breed and if a team views a quarterback prospect a quality gamer, he transcends rankings.
WHW = Where he wins. This is very easily the most important part of every on-field evaluation.
The * indicates a non-senior prospect.
one DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina*
WHW: May launch out of his stance to obtain two or three steps in the backfield. Fast hands to shed immediately and it has the length to create separation with strong grip to shed. Heavy latch with leverage and power to disengage. An extreme athlete who covers lots of ground. Dips shoulders to avoid or turn the corner. Also wins when asked to loop inside. Will appeal to every scheme. Mainly lines up as a right defensive end.
2 . OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
WHW: The lightning-quick complete rusher is able to gain an advantage on the edge and keep it thanks to their burst off the line, ability to cut off either foot towards the quarterback, and flexibility to bend around the corner. He or she closes distances quickly, which can be efficient from a variety of alignments, and Barr is a punishing finisher.
3. T Jake Matthews, Texas A& M
WHW: Doesn’t sit back and wait, finds contact through their hands and is an aggressive blocker. Obtains inside hand positioning and adjusts if necessary. Athletic feet to keep proper shoulder alignment, which prevents bending from the waist. Displays capability to bend at the knee to absorb and redirect. Sets up cut blocks and drives through with force. Shifting from right to left tackle.
4. LB C. J. Mosley, Alabama
WHW: Very little wasted movement. Outlines up as inside linebacker behind 3 and four man fronts. Provides so much range, chases down athletic quarterbacks to the edge. Same range is visible in pass coverage. Connections crossing routes and keeps hard work to sustain and trail. Works over top of blocks with fast steps. Keeps nice vision on the second level by strafing then attacks uphill. Will finish tackles.
5. WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson*
WHW: The combination of burst and smooth movements in and out of their breaks or after catch movements is great. Hands catcher away from their body. An explosive player with all the ball in his hands, gets as much as high gear very quickly. Will go throughout the middle and catch passes within tight windows. Cuts routes off very quickly. Has balance to stay up beyond first defender. Wins from slot or outside.
6. S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama*
WHW: Has excellent length for the position. Controlled aggressiveness when closing towards line of scrimmage. Not a watcher, he gets in the action. Reads operate and reacts quickly, even from single high. Has seen period from free or strong safety. Able in playing man and zone situations, either near or off the line of scrimmage. A really, really good protection.
7. DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame*
WHW: Lines up as a nose tackle or shade inside a three man front. Can work over top of a block and create penetration at the same time. Stops momentum very quickly and changes direction well for a large man. Has the leg drive in order to penetrate face up and strength to shed it close spaces. Can disrupt the run upfield or hold his spot with anchor versus the run. Has some Vince Wilfork to him.
8. CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State*
WHW: Attacks the jam or obstructing receiver, frequently gets into the activity. Will play off or press guy coverage, attacks the catch stage by cutting in front of the target. Even plays on special teams. Trails in close distances and prevents the sliver of separation on the catch point. Makes things hard on the opposition.
nine. OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State*
WHW: Long and lean. Projects to weakside linebacker. His speed to the edge is excellent. There are some wasted movements when working the backside, but when the target and ally are located he gets there in a hurry. Zone drops are smooth. Asked to blitz from inside and on the edge. Takes tight angles into the backfield on edge runs.
10. OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Fulton: Mack vs . Miller
11. DT Dominique Easley, Florida
WHW: Easley’s success inside compared to when on the edge is a no contest. His quickness to shoot face up gaps causes instant disruption, exhibiting quick hands to keep separation plus a forward momentum. He impacts games when gaining promising positioning.
12. TE Jace Amaro, Texas Technology
13. CB Jason Verrett, TCU
WHW: Active player who doesn’t wait to react. Keeps near trailing distance and makes tackles for a loss on crossing ways by forcing receivers back. Fast in his movements once diagnosing and locating. Has great vision, baits quarterbacks from off man with success. Coverage versatile. Hides blitz very well.
14. T Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama*
WHW: Left tackle. Really does occasionally bend at the waist yet is athletic enough to recover and regain balance. Best when maintaining separation thanks to great length. Will get a bit short in his drops, however, has the athletic lower half in order to react and keep positioning. Better within pass protection than run obstructing.
15. WR Marqise Lee, USC*
WHW: Long, lean strider. Best as a straight-line receiver. Doesn’t brain chipping the edge when in motion or finishing off runs with low shoulder. Obvious burst of quickness in first or 2nd step, then it builds after that. Outlines up in the slot and outdoors, smooth runner in his breaks to prevent contact. Frequently sent in motion. Fingers catcher. Can make people miss in the open field, but doesn’t have outstanding spectrum of ankle agility.
16. DE Aaron Lynch, USF*
WHW: Very quick movements in tight spaces. Appeared lean in 2011 and has lost weight since, which will make things interesting. Becomes poor positioning into positive circumstances with length and foot quickness. Plays high but lifts and shrugs to create leverage. If method and pad level work out, watch out. Tough to designate left or right defensive end right now.
17. DT Will Sutton, Arizona State
WHW: Sutton takes advantage of space. Whether it be shooting previous reach blocks in the sliver of time afforded to him thanks to an animated first step and forward lean, or hand use and quick feet to generate that splitting up on his own, Sutton finishes with shutting speed. His flexibility to bend and gain positive positioning will be tough to find.
18. TE Eric Ebron, UNC*
nineteen. CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
20. T Taylor Lewan, Michigan
WHW: Wide stance, wants to find contact through their hands. Has an aggressive mentality, yet that can get him in trouble. Even though positioning is off balance, their strong base helps anchor and prevent momentum. Better run blocker compared to pass protector, but wins when gaining a latch in possibly situation. Asked to pull inside and lead blocks well.
21. WR Mike Evans, Texas A& M*
22. WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State*
23. CB-FUNK Ifo Ekpre-Olumu, Oregon*
WHW: Field side corner. Won’t constantly engage blockers but will strike full speed when lining up ball carriers in the open field. Efforts to disrupt catch point when receiver high points target. First class closing speed. Mirrors in tight man coverage but also displays push bail skills.
twenty-four. T Antonio Richardson, Tennessee*
WHW: Attacks defender’s shoulder in the running game with strong first contact. A bit best heavy with forward lean within pass protection but feet stay in solid positioning. Initial pass fixed is quick, would like to see knee bend and strong plant in order to redirect momentum.
twenty five. RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin*